In a Covid-19 World, Working from Home is a Thing—Software Hurdles Included

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but a few things changed this year. The Rolling Stones had a reunion concert—on Zoom. There’s been an uptick in Bigfoot sightings—and he’s wearing a mask. Office water cooler talk now takes place in your kitchen—with your kids. Perhaps even more significant than the Stones, Bigfoot, and water cooler talk with your kids about Netflix combined, is that everyone at the firm, from administrative staff to operations to the managing partner, is working from home with sub-par technology.

Stemming from my countless conversations with law firms and vendors over the past few months, I have defined the current software challenge we are facing as, “The Covid Effect.” Determined to alleviate the law firm work-from-home-and-my-software-technology-is-super-subpar-situation, my development team went to work (from home of course).

After hearing the same comments call after call, “Everyone’s working from home. Most of us are not in the office anymore. I need to get all my products in a web client view, and I need to automate as much as I can.”, it was clear that software products needed to talk to each other with added functionality.


It’s All About I.S.M.

Integration, synchronization, and migration (ISM) are the three key tasks that have kept us busier than ever assisting firms as they work from home. Let’s delve into what each element really entails.

Integration , in its simplest terms, is getting two products talking to each other. For example, in the music world let’s say Cardi B and Chris Martin from Coldplay wanted to form a supergroup. Don’t know why the world would need this, in fact, they really wouldn’t want it, but it’s hypothetical so we’re going with it. The first step would be integration. They’d have to start talking to each other.

Synchronization is the act of getting data coming from one product into another product. In the case of our (not so) supergroup, it would be the process of taking all of Cardi B’s songs and putting them into Chris Martin’s repertoire.

Then, there is Migration, taking information from one system and moving it to another because you’re probably getting rid of the old system. In other words, taking all of Cardi B’s ‘songs’ and totally Coldplay-izing them because the supergroup is going to be so popular Cardi would never want to return to her solo career. Perhaps a more applicable example of integration for legal would be what GDSI has done with our integration between Clio© and Worldox© as well as Clio and NetDocuments©.


Clio and Worldox Integration

The first hurdle we tackled was the integration and synchronization of Clio and Worldox. Since many small law firms save all of their case information in Clio, but all of their documents for those cases in Worldox, it has been frustrating to duplicate efforts and switch between apps.

Moving beyond our water cooler conversations with our kids, GDSI developers worked quickly to integrate and synchronize the two platforms. How’d we do it? We added one button into Clio that launches Worldox on any given matter, allowing users the ability to see all case-specific documents related to an open case. The setup is simple, fast, and seamless. It automatically syncs client and matter data and supports an unlimited amount of Cabinets. With a deep understanding of how law firms work and the need for customization, we designed the software prepared to satisfy custom requests. Could the Cardi B – Coldplay supergroup accommodate custom requests? I think not.


Clio and NetDocuments Integration

Just like Cardi B would have alternatives to Coldplay for her supergroup, we know that small firms have alternatives as well. So our development team sat down in their homes once again. The result? We found a way to integrate Clio and NetDocuments too. Same idea: one button, the simple, fast, seamless set-up, the automatic syncing of data, unlimited amount of Cabinets, and the opportunity for customization. Beta testing began. We anticipated we would have interest from five, maybe ten firms. In the first week, 50 firms expressed interest to get started immediately! The response was off-the-charts. If beta testing was a concert, we would be standing room only—with a potential mosh pit.

I’m happy to report the testing was a success. We had figured out a way to solve a law firm’s biggest challenges: saving time and saving money. We can now license both integrations to firms.


Migration Needs During COVID

We never got the chance to rest, because then came the migration challenges. Many firms were still using old legacy systems that were Windows-based applications. It was like they were stuck on 8-tracks when it was clearly Spotify time.

Employees couldn’t go into their offices to use their PC’s, so they were stuck at home with a laptop missing some of their data and applications. At the same time, other lawyers were being let go and starting their own firms.

So what did they do? They went to Clio (a leading case management system in Legal), but they needed something to help organize everything—to get their data from their legacy system into Clio. Our at-home developers grabbed some energy drinks they had delivered by Instacart and went at it again.

The result? We built a very impactful engine that can synchronize data and documents from any source and get you into Clio. Again, it’s customizable to fit any firm—unlike Bigfoot’s mask, which to be honest, looks a little small on him.

So, the bright side of working from home is this: if you’re a firm whose dining room is your new conference room or your on-site IT person is your 12-year-old who is virtual schooling six hours a day, you’re not alone. A few easy integrations, synchronizations, and migrations can make the crazy world we’re living in a lot saner for you very quickly.



GDSI has been delivering custom software solutions to law firms, legal software companies, and professional services firms for 25 years. We are a software design studio delivering creative solutions to the business challenges inherent in legal operations. Our frequent, relevant communications ensure clients are always informed. From research and analysis to design and implementation, our judicious approach ensures sustainable results. We’re about details done right.

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